Top critical review
37 people found this helpful
Good tips but with a fundamental flaw
on 18 March 2010
At first glance this is an interesting book full of tips for people setting up their own business, something many of my own students set out to do. Indeed, I give similar advice to them so may well recommend this book and save my voice!
But there is a bit of a flaw. The book contains several "freeq" tips that are designed to show how much someone can save by taking the "free" option. For example, an hour of intellectual property lawyer's time is priced at £150. A three page web site from a designer is £1000. And accountant's time for a year is £2500. Imagine how much you'll "save" if you skip all that!
Well, here's how much you'll save: nothing. Indeed it may well cost you.
If you have something that's worth protecting with intellectual property rights, it's worth spending money on getting it done properly. If you want a web site that attracts new business, use a professional. It will pay for itself. And the point of an accountant isn't simply that they do your accounts, it's that they save you time, and hopefully save you money.
Here's the fundamental flaw. Your time is money. If you're doing your own accounts you're using your time and that's time you're not earning money. Also if you make a mistake, or submit your accounts late, you'll be fined. In addition, you're not an accountant so you don't know what's deductible etc.
If you're doing your own web site, is it really going to be any good? How long will it take you? How much does your time cost?
And there's another fundamental flaw: imagine you want to set up a web design business and you buy this book, and you see that you're being dismissed as not worth spending money on... you see what I'm getting at?
All the advice here sort of assumes that everybody is either dispensable or out to rip you off by charging you money for something you could do yourself. Well if everyone took that attitude, there'd be no businesses at all! The economy, as the introduction rightly points out, depends on entrepreneurs. But only if those entrepreneurs not only make money, but spend money, seeing as most business is "business to business".
A much better book would be one showing how to spend money wisely: how to find a good accountant, a good designer, a good lawyer. I'm not convinced that doing it all yourself is the best way to spend the first vital months of your new venture...